NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
The Key Moment: Kevin Harvick assumed the lead milliseconds before the caution flag flew, signaling the end of the race.
In a Nutshell: With the convoluted new format and dearth of attendance and excitement Saturday night, is it time to just call this Shootout silliness off?
Dramatic Moment: Waiting to see who was going to hit Greg Biffle next.
What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week
The folks at Daytona said they were lowering ticket prices to put fans in the seats in this tough economy. Apparently, they didn’t lower them enough. The crowd Saturday night would have been shameful at a Foghat reunion concert on some college campus.
I’m a little confused as to the analogies between Harvick’s win in the 2007 Daytona 500 and his win Saturday night. In 2007, the race was allowed to finish under the green flag, even as a massive wreck took place behind the leaders and cars were upside down and on fire. NASCAR defended their held flag that evening as saying on the last lap, anything goes. Well, Saturday night a far less severe wreck allowed Harvick to win under caution. So, which call will be made next Sunday? Damned if I know. I just work here.
This year, more then ever fans really need a program to keep the players straight. It sure is weird to see some driver other than Tony Stewart in the No. 20 car (albeit briefly) and Stewart at the wheel of the No. 14 car.
The tires at Daytona seemed to last only seven laps before giving up. That could make for a long race next week.
They’ve screwed the Shootout concept truly and well, haven’t they? In its original form, the race was limited to drivers who had won poles the previous season. It was a 20-lap sprint race, a little taste of things to come for winter weary fans — sort of like that sip of wine the waiter gives you for approval before filling your glass.
Entry to this year’s concept is such a screwed up process that it doesn’t bear explanation as much as it does ridicule and contempt. Let’s suffice it to say while A.J. Allmendinger, Joey Logano, Robby Gordon, and David Stremme made the field, Ryan Newman did not. Newman, most of you remember, is the man who won last year’s Daytona 500 and remains one of the sport’s best qualifiers. Yes, NASCAR has long since strayed from the purity of the original Shootout concept with rules like allowing any previous Shootout winner into the field (to make sure Dale Earnhardt, Sr. it — Earnhardt was not a great qualifier most seasons) but this year’s concept would make Dr. Seuss blush if it weren’t for the fact he’s dead as a doornail. About the only way to screw things up any further is to offer teams a chance to make next year’s Shootout by finding scratch and win cards in specially marked boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.
Once again this offseason, Brian France indicated that he doesn’t look at his position as chief of NASCAR as a lifetime position like his grandfather and father did. He swears he’ll leave the sport… eventually. So, I guess all those long-term fans who have left the sport will return to NASCAR racing… eventually. If Gil Grissom were to study the format for this year’s Shootout in the crime lab, he’d doubtless find Brian’s DNA all over it. Nobody else with the power to make things happen in complete abeyance of common sense could have dreamed up such a farcical concept. A recent poll indicated that only 33 percent of fans are pleased with how Brian France is doing his job. Well, the last person of note to suffer such low popularity numbers recently returned to Crawford, Texas to join the 7.6 percent of unemployed Americans the recession he created has borne.
Meanwhile, the top 35 rule and its consequences have certainly come to roost in the current economy. Teams need to have a spot in the top 35 in points to be guaranteed a spot in this season’s first five races. So, they’re wheeling and dealing like Monte Hall to buy those positions towards the bottom rungs of the ladder, using points earned by drivers who no longer have rides and teams that won’t run entries this season to make this year’s races. Yeah, I think I just saw the White Rabbit of Lewis Carroll and Jefferson Airplane fame hopping across the infield at Daytona studying his pocket watch. Alice, babe, I love ya, but this tea is making me dizzy and the hookah-smoking caterpillars (who look suspiciously like Michael Phelps) are scaring me. Can I trade in this tea on a cold bottle of Corona and a cup of Folgers? Feed ‘jur Ed!
An old saying states that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Well, it doesn’t seem to be working with this Car of Sorrow a year after its first full season of competition. I still look at these misshapen troglodytes and feel like I’m biting into a lemon with dimes jammed in between my upper and lower front teeth. Since the government seems intent on spending tens of billions of dollars to fix woeful situations, perhaps a stimulus package could be devised to pay off NASCAR team owners to trash their fleets of CoTs and bring back something that more closely resembles a proper race car rather than a kiddie ride at Disney World on steroids.
Kyle Busch seems ready to start off 2009 with his first foot-in-mouth moment, resuming where he left off last year to continue generating the sort of loathing from the fans even his brother Kurt could never match on his best day. Asked about the effects of the economy on the sport, young Mr. Busch thoughtfully opined, “I don’t even know how bad the economy is; I don’t pay attention to it. From what I hear, it’s bad and it’s in the tank. I’m still fortunate enough to be in the sport and have a job with Joe Gibbs and get paid well enough that I can still live the same I was living last year.” Let them eat cake, sayeth Kyle Antoinette, even while admitting for some working folk the last year might have been a little “sucky.” What’s the difference for them this year? When some fans throw empty beer cans at Kyle after a race, others will doubtless be diving over the fence to gather them up in order to collect the five cent deposit on each.
One of the unintended dividends of the testing suspension policy this year in the Cup Series is to give the teams that are in the Shootout a decided advantage for next week’s big show.
Wow, didn’t see that one coming! What’s the real story behind the demise of the Daly Planet, Mike Daly’s daily blog on the state of NASCAR TV coverage? With Mike Mulhern, formerly of the Winston Salem Journal (and now found at www.MikeMulhern.net) also MIA this season, folks who aren’t willing to partake of Brian France’s Kool-Aid in the media are now sleeping with their front porch lights on.
Wow, there are 57 entries (OK, 56 with James Hylton having thrown in the towel) for this year’s Daytona 500, a pretty considerable number all things considered. That points out one irrefutable fact. Even in a tough economy, Kenny Wallace won over a quarter million dollars for finishing dead last in last year’s Daytona 500. That’s a pretty good chunk of change for any team that sneaks into the show. My guess is this year we’ll hear a lot less about the “Go or Go-Homers” and a lot more about the “Start and Parkers.”
The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune
Greg Biffle hit everything but the Powerball lottery Saturday night.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is a perpetual threat to win at Daytona, and led some laps only to fall back into the clutches of the least common denominators late. He ended up with a thoroughly trashed race car as result.
Pundits want you to believe in Joey Lagano as “Sliced Bread” — as in “the best thing since…” But maybe we ought to ought to call him Bread Crumbs after a crummy ride at Daytona Saturday night. Decent finishes are apparently not available in the checkout line at the Home Depot, even if you have 300,000 fans ready to drink the Kool-Aid.
The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune
Harvick didn’t show a lot of strength for most of the event, but was up front when it mattered.
A lot of folks, this writer included, questioned Tony Stewart’s sanity in leaving Joe Gibbs Racing to throw in his lot with a team that is, to be kind, a perpetual underachiever. A third place result in the Shootout was a pretty fair result for the newly reconfigured outfit.
Second place had to be disappointing for Jamie McMurray, who seemed to have the race in the bag as the final lap began; but with an average finish of 20th last year, it was a pretty decent way to kick off the season for the victim-designate of Jack Roush’s need to cut back to four teams in 2010.
Jeff Gordon threaded his way through several wrecks, sometimes at a walking pace, en route to a fourth place finish. I guess Ella is sleeping through the night now.
What’s the Points?
This race is well and truly pointless, now more than ever.
Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans, with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) We’ll give this one three cans, only because it’s good to hear those un-muffled V8s driven in anger again after a long winter’s nap.
Next Up: The points paying portion of the season kicks off next Sunday with the annual plate track madness of the Daytona 500. Ladies and gentlemen, let the carnage begin.
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Het Matt, very nice summation. Yep, 2009, and things are still screwed up in NA$CRAP!
I am so happy, so very happy! Did not watch a single lap of anything except the ARCA fiasco, and not much of that, got tired of yellow flags!
Can you imagine ANYONE paying NA$CRAP ticket prices to see the CoT “race”?
I caught part of the lengthy pre-race pre-race show on speed, with Spencer and Wallace. They were hawking $55 back stretch seats. Great, $55 can see Daytona 500….What about the cost of everything else, travel, lodging, food. Kenny Wallace pulled money out of his wallet and said “I have $55”, see how easy and affordable it is to go to the 500. Heck, my wallet hasn’t seen $55 in a long time. Now 55 cents, I think I have that much money.
Saw where Denny Hamlin is buying tickets to each race and giving them away via his website. Wonder how many hits he’ll have after this weekend?
I guess Kyle Busch isn’t one of the drivers taking a pay cut to help with the cost of racing for his owner this year?!
Welcome back NA$CAR….only thing that I see has changed in 3 months are the different players in different cars with different sponsors.
Just another restrictor plate race with a big wreck on the last lap. No real shootout.
Wow. You scooped me on Daly Planet’s demise. Hadn’t read it in about a week & was equally shocked to see him gone. But minor correction. It was John Daly’s blog – not Mike Daly’s. Mike is still alive and well at monkeesfan.blogspot.com and Catchfence.com.
The continued screwination (ya that’s a word) of Mark Martin is staggering. The Bud Shootout was yet another slap in his face—the only thing worse would’ve been if he was “allowed” in the field and finished SECOND again.
The BS officiating is bordering on the absurd. Harvick’s in the EXACT same situation as 2007, a wreck on the last lap, and this time NASCAR freezes the field on the yellow? Their hypocracy is STAGGERING.
Mark’s gonna win the 500 next on Sunday, you bet—and then the flagman will claim that aliens landed on the front stretch and held the 2nd-place car back, and give the win to them instead.
I think someone got their O’s and I’s mixed up when they spelled “Shootout” this year. It was so full of crap it’s not funny. Oh, oh…. one of our poster boys is not racing…let’s make up a new rule…call it a “wildcard.” What a joke this has become!!!!
Next year why doesn’t NA$CAR just have a pre-race race to the Shootout ….. invite everyone who has a NA$CAR license, let them run a 50 laps, no holes barred, balls to the wall, wreck-em-up-bang-em up race. Then, what ever is left standing, have a Shootout race. Hell, that can’t be any more ridiculous than what they put on the track the other night.
WOW! Sounds like NA$CRAP has all it’s schills out there peddling tickets to the 500! (I.E. Kenny Wallace & Company). I used to kinda like Kenny, bit for sure he has fallen into the clutches of King Brian & Company!
It is REALLY GOOD, to see NA$CRAP begging for fans!
Glad to see you are back for another season Matt.
So what’s the double yellow line supposed to accomplish that the single yellow line couldn’t? I guess the transition from normal highway markings to the track markings were too hard for drivers to adjust.
Really bumbed about the Daly Planet closing. From the final posting it sounded like it was a cost issue that was brought on by the economy.
Guess the double yellow lines are for those drivers with vision problems, or maybe the officials with vision problems.
Oh Yeah….I got a call from a friend yesterday during qualifying. She called to see if I had killed the tv when apparently DW said “I love Mike Helton”.
I noticed that NA$CAR, or Speed, decided to pull Ken Squire out of storage for the historical value of the 500. What a pair, Squire and Dave Burns. Guess the hype this year will be the 30 yr anniversary since the national broadcast of the 500 and “the fight”.
Oh yeah, I got email from DEI a week or so ago trying to sell me a candle holder for rememberance candle for 2/18. I deleted that. No money for Teresa.
I was shocked and saddened when John Daly closed his site last week. It was a must read for me. There must be more to this story. How ‘bout finding out “the rest of the story” and letting us know what happened.
Testing the comments, but since I’m here, Douglas and Janice, I don’t know if you were paying attention to Daytona ticket prices at the time, but they used to have the backstretch priced at $25 for I know the 400 because I took advantage of it at the time, and I think the 500 too. I believe it was arround ’98 or ’99 so inflation may have taken its toll. even then though, gas from Tampa to Daytona wasn’t cheap, but I could drive in and sleep in the car the night before, then drive home after, so it was a pretty good value.
Is it true that real reason for the change in the Bud Shootout format is that the pole award is now sponsored by Coors? If so, then shame on Bud and NASCAR. So because NASCAR wanted 2-official-beers-of-NASCAR, this once exciting event has been reduced to part demolotion derby / part free testing session.
Leave it to Matt to turn what I thought was a good race into a stinkin’ pile of crap! Thanks Matt!
No mention of Dick Bergren’s purple nose? You’re slipping Matt. That thing looked like it was ripe for picking. Hehe! Disclaimer time – I like DB, just thought he needed more make-up….or less booze.
The racing? It was too long for a “shootout”.
I bet there was some screaming in the control room when the camera man on the blimp showed a view straight down onto the frontstretch bleachers . NASCARs’ crafty idea of painting the seats contrasting colors to make it appear that the seats have people in them doesn’t work when filmed from above . I suspect NASCAR has already had the poor camera man fired for “ actions detrimental to stock car racing “ .
Good comeback Potsie!
Go back to school and get an education. Then perhaps you will be able to make a coherent point instead of basically calling anyone that doesn’t agree with you names. Otherwise go back to the playground where all discussions end in name calling.
Ren, I’ve done many drive all night, get ticket and watch race over 25 yrs. Here at Atlanta they’re bringing out all the guns to sell tickets to the March race. Discounts for ride-a-long after race with Petty Driving Experience, ticket deals for $88 in the Earnhardt section but you know, still not worth taking the risk when the money spent, even as little as $55, could put food in the pantry or put gas in car for commute to work (thankfully!). The product from NA$CAR is still the same in my opinion. Ok, if you listen to the broadcasters, dodge has a new nose, maybe ford, and ford has a new engine coming, but it’s glorified iroc.
Now what will the format be for the next shootout or whatever they’ll call the race next year? Does it matter any longer, except for pit selection, to win pole? No extra points, no chance at extra money from special “pole winner” race.
Be interesting to see if there are more fans in the stands come Thursday for the Duels.
Hey Ren Jonsin, WOW! I thought I was the only one that “back-in-the-days” used to drive to the track, Daytona in this case (from Michigan yet), buy tickets, and sleep in the car until race/day/time!
All the way from Michigan
Now I won’t even bother walking three steps into the living room and turn this silly thing called NA$CRAP on the TV! Not worth the electricity the TV takes for a couple of hours (time depending of course on how many debris cautions NA$CRAP needs to throw to keep everyone on the lead lap of course).
Matt – Welcome back and what a great column!!! I am so sad John Daly has shut down his blog — it was a daily read for me from the get go…as far as Sat. night was concerned – my interest level is not high this year — too much of a mess – I want the old days back and the REAL car – not this sham that Brian requires them to race…its a wonder Brian can even sleep at night – obviously, the man has no conscience whatsoever – boy, did the apple fall far from the tree with him! Hopefully, he’ll opt out before the Daytona 500 and put himself and us out of our misery…
While NASCAR is a rolling trainwreck at the moment Matt does get a little something extra in his check this week for mentioning the great band “Foghat”. After watching the ARCA race I think “Slowride” should’ve been the theme song with all the caution laps. Lonesome Dave and the gang would’ve been proud;-)
Republicans, Democrats, its nice to see we are all in such a good mood. Everybody wants to cast blame. Lets look at facts and not personalities. I think we can all agree jobs create wealth. At least lack of jobs certainly destroy the wealth. The North American Free Trade Agreement allowed millions of job to be sent to Mexico, and then on to the Pacific Rim. We were promised that lower wage stitch and cut employment would be replaced with high waged, high tech employment, and that we were in for a very sound economy for many, many decades to come. After some serious modifications by the sitting President, it was signed into law on November 19, 1993. It allowed our jobs to be taken overseas, therefore we don’t have the jobs anymore. Matt, you are a flatulating butt-head if you think George W Bush created this problem. He may not have had the support or the popularity to do a whole lot to stop it, but he definitely did not create it. Aside from NAFTA, pure old GREED has a lot to do with the current problem. The banking problem was brought on by the government, but nobody twisted anybody’s arm to make them sign a mortgage they couldn’t afford. But when everybody tries to start getting bigger than their neighbor, and it goes unchecked, disaster is waiting.
I’ve deleted the political comments and name calling. Joe, I’m very conservative, as in both Bushes were too far left for my tastes, and your post makes us all look bad. If you want to defend the Bush administration in the future, I’d suggest you learn some valid arguments. There’s plenty of them out there, and calling someone names isn’t one of them.